Ring Christmas bells on Christmas Eve.

People around the world are planning on ringing bells on their balconies and doorsteps at 6 pm Christmas Eve.

The ‘Worldwide Christmas Eve Jingle’ was started in North Yorkshire, England by a woman who thought the world could use a bit of joy this year. She said it’s for kids, so they can look back on 2020 with some fondness.

Your correspondent may have to download a bell app for his phone to make this happen—but perhaps a reader might, ahem, pull some strings at a local church? I have to plead complete ignorance: do churches ring bells any more? Are they allowed to do it just for fun?

Joy to the world!

Edna Harding is bringing a little joy to the world this Christmas season; she and a group of volunteers from Central United Church are sponsoring two Syrian refugees. Edna says the project is “daunting, financially and time wise”, but “it’s part of what my faith moves me to do.”

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Central United is partnering with three other churches (Westway, Windermere, and Roncesvalles United Churches) to put together a private sponsorship. They are sponsoring a 24-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son.

The woman and child, whose names are not yet known, fled Syria and are living in a Beirut refugee camp. The UNHCR said that they need urgent resettlement.

Edna and the other volunteers will be responsible for every aspect of their care for at least a year. “You take them by the hand from the minute they arrive!” she says.

Harding is ready though; she and the other volunteers are waiting for the call to tell them the pair is en route. They expect it will be very soon—perhaps in January. In the meantime, she says they would love to find another volunteer who speaks fluent Arabic. Financial contributions would also be welcome.

If you are moved to help, send me an email, [email protected], and I’ll put you in touch. I’m sure you could also call the Central United at (416) 241-9049.


Weston Village lights up the darkness.

It’s the Winter Solstice today – the darkest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). Last night, WestonWeb did some drive-by shooting through Weston Village in the annual hunt for Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanza / New Year / Festivus / Shopping Festival lights. Several of the more charming displays are included for your viewing pleasure along with comments from our expert team of know-it-all adjudicators (my wife and I). If your house is not included, its image has probably been rejected, not on the bounds of good taste but thanks to the abject skills of the photographer.

Nominate your neighbour

It’s time for the second annual Griswold award for Christmas lighting.  To spare my children another miserable night of driving around in the cold and dark, I’m throwing this year’s nominations open.

Does the glow of your neighbour’s lights bring traffic to your block? Does it bring air traffic? Does the heat from your neighbour’s lights melt the snow on your roof?

If so, nominate them for the prize, a box of my old family movies and my mother-in-law’s Christmas cake from last year. (Rum not included; I wrung that out through cheesecloth).

Nominate someone (including yourself) in the comments below. Winners will be judged by some senseless criterion, probably how close they are to my house, and thus how likely I am to get there myself in the cold and dark.

Lumps for me

Big Red himself tried to swear me to secrecy when I caught him getting a gravy change and a 21-sparkle inspection at a local garage. I told him, “Nick, readers first. Sorry, dude.”

He got naughty fast. I could see him scowling under his smoke-yellowed, 6-week stubble. He growled, “I’ll send you to Siberia to mine the coal your kids will get in their stockings”.

Bring it, Nicky—if you want to wake up with a shoulder mount of Prancer.

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New Christmas store on King St

A new store has opened up in Weston. The aptly-named Locally Crafted Holiday Gift Store is beside Olympic Variety on the corner of King and Elm.

Reanna Niceforo opened her store on Sunday, and it will remain open until Christmas Eve. She is selling her handmade jewelry and art.

“I have been making jewelry for about seven years now, but this is the first time I’ve taken over a store”, Niceforo said.

She says she’s not the only quiet artist in town; many others are around, waiting for another opportunity to showcase their work. Niceforo suggested that another Art in the Park event would be a great way to bring them out—the last one, she says, was several years ago.